Kard Combat: How to turn Magic: The Gathering Into Mortal Kombat (iOS)

Taking a cue from Activision’s popular Mortal Kombat series, HotHead Games has released their effort in the virtual CCG arena entitled Kard Combat. At first blush this just sounds like a vain attempt at stealing some thunder from Mortal Kombat, but I assure you it’s slightly more cheesy than that. A “Kard” according to the in game tutorial is something like a Legend or General in the Magic: The Gathering Collectable Card Game, it’s function is to give you a magic type, along with some cards that fit in well with that magic type, and sort of set the pace for your game. If you want to be the priest, the unholy machine mage, or the Dominator mage etc. People can take matters into their own hands by learning the skills to develop the next awesome game.

The similarities between M:TG and MK go on though. As a player you can choose one of three modes of play; a single hand mode, played against the computer, a multiplayer mode, and the very familiar tower mode. In the tower, you line up against other Kards, in a Kard Combat Tournament. Just like Mortal Kombat, the Tower mode does not really reflect the traditional Tournament tree, you just have idiot lined up after idiot for you to kick the crap out of until you are crowned King Kard, or something like that.

While my comments might seem a little bit venomous in regards to Kard Combat’s naming scheme and blatant borrowing from the two games I mentioned, like calling the spell points to cast spells “Mana” (who would notice that?), the truth is though, the game is pretty good. If you follow the eight page tutorial, or play the tower mode for the first time, you can read how the game is played pretty quickly. In short, there are a number of slots on either side of the battle field. You can select a card from one of a predetermined types of Mana types that your Kard Mage can use, and place it into any of the slots above. The way that the battles work is sort of like having a gun battle against an opponent. If nothing is in the way of your gun, Kard, then the damage goes straight to the player, like a bullet. However, should something get in your way, like the opponent’s Kards, then the damage gets soaked up by it instead. The effects of the cards are pretty self explanatory, and spell cards do pretty much what they say without much explanation either. Much like M:TG, Kards have a mana cost to cast, and above each mana stack (and that’s just what I’m calling them for right now, I don’t know if they have an actual title) there is a number of usable Mana. If your Kard costs less than what you have in Mana, you can cast it – it’s that easy. Also, continuing in this borrowing trend, there are cards that fight players and other Kards that have an Attack Power, and Defense Points. I’m sure you can see how that works. There are also Walls that you can deploy to block damage from coming through. Most have certain effects to help you kick some Kard even though they don’t do actual battle damage like most Kards.

With three types of play to choose from, and three different skill levels for battling against the computer, this game turned out to be a pretty decent game in the end. You can pick it up for free, and then buy the full compliment of Kards, or just some “booster packs” basically that has a mage and some extra Kards to go with it. The Booster is $2.99, and the full game is just under ten dollars. For a fledgling CCG, you could do much much worse. And for the price? Again it could be worse. It could be as bad as my debilitating addiction to Magic: The Gathering. I swear, sometimes it’s either pay the electric bill or get more M:TG cards… that reminds me I better wrap this up quick before the power goes ou_

Game Receives an 8 out of 10 possible points

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